Sunday, November 29, 2009

Part 2: Now You Need to Get People to Visit Your Book Author Website

Welcome back Phyllis Zimbler Miller for Week 2.
Last week you offered tips for an author's website. What's next?

Blogging can be a book author’s best friend (after Twitter, which I’ll explain below).  First, don’t groan.  You’re a writer, so write.

A blog on your website is even better than a standalone blog because all that fresh content (and you will commit to blogging at least three times a week) makes the search engines like your book author website better.  (Full disclosure again:  I didn’t know this when I first started blogging so my book’s blog is separate; it’s at

And blogging is one reason to have a book author website before your book is published – it’s a great way to start the author-reader relationship.

If you are a nonfiction author, it’s pretty clear what you’ll write blog posts about.  Whatever your book topic is on.

And if you are a fiction author, don’t despair.  There are all kinds of things you can blog about – from recipes of your book’s locale (Thailand perhaps) to actual detective techniques (for mystery novels) to writing strategies.

Great, you’re blogging.  Now you have to get people to read your blog.

While Facebook (where you can have a group or fan page for your book) and LinkedIn are two of the most effective social networking sites, Twitter is the goose that lay the golden egg in my opinion.  Why?  Because, once you learn how to use Twitter effectively, it is the easiest way to get in front of people interested in your topic in a non-invasive and genuinely helpful manner.

Again, if you have a nonfiction book, you share information related to this topic, including information that does NOT come from you.  And you answer questions on this topic if you can.

If you have a fiction book, you interact with all the other fiction authors on Twitter and share writing tips, publishing tips, and your worse nightmares (your books aren’t available at the Borders author panel).  Through your tweets you share with others and become a real person to them.  And if they read fiction they should be interested in checking out what you’ve written.

One of the biggest pluses of Twitter (besides the 140-character limit for each tweet and not having to open email to read the message) is that you get only 160 characters for your bio and only one hot link.  (Currently LinkedIn has three hot links available in your profile and is there even a limit on Facebook?) 

Upload a good headshot of yourself (not your book cover – people like to interact with people, not inanimate objects), write an interesting (truthful) bio, and link to your website or blog. 

Then start slowly, learning as much as you can about Twitter etiquette and how to tweet worthwhile information for your followers.  (Do NOT -- unless you wrote a cookbook -- tweet what you ate for dinner regardless of whether you see other people tweet this.) 

One final word of caution that has to do with your website, your blog and your outreach efforts:   
This is NOT a three-month project 
of book promotion and you stop after three months.  
This is a three-year project or more of promoting your book.

Commit to the long haul, to continually learning new strategies, and to keeping an open mind about new possibilities, joint ventures, and new ideas.  Remember, you’re sharing your hard work with the world because you believe in what that hard work produced.  Now you just have to make it easier for people to learn about your hard work and want to partake of it.

Thanks Phyllis, for all your advice. 

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is an Internet business consultant whose power marketing website is
Her company builds book author websites and provides other book marketing services.

Download now her free report on 
“Power Marketing’s Top 3 Internet Marketing Tips” 
and check out her company’s information package
“What You Should Know About Marketing-Driven Websites” 


  1. Hi, Phyllis. How true. How true. 3 years... Seems like an eternity to me. It's always best to start with the best route and move forward instead of trying various promoing strategies and wasting your time/energy. Great post! :)

  2. I can see what you mean by three years. You have to promote it if you want to sell it.
    There is no getting around that.

  3. I love all this advice. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Oh yeah, the promotion goes on and on and on. Embrace the net. :) Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I'll admit, I'm the 3-month gal, but this has encouraged me to do better and make the most of it. Great insights. Thanks.

  6. This has been a slow learning process for me. I started on yahoo loops, then created pages at Ning sites, I'm just starting to play around with My Space and I'm thinking of starting a blog and newsletter. But with a family and full time job, I find all this so overwhelming I don't have time to write. Do you think Twitter would be a better use of my time than My Space?

  7. Phyllis--Great advice. One thing I do agree with is to post your own photo--not the cover of your book. Even if you don't like yourself in a photograph (I DO NOT!)grin and bear it. I particularly like casual shots. If I'm speaking to or listening, I'd like to know what this person looks like. But I do understadn the aversion to showing your face to the world. Believe me. I understand. Celia

  8. WOW great advice. Thank you.

    To blog three times a week. I tried and often failed, but once a week for sure. I am on mySpace, Facebook, Goodreads (what do you think about Goodreads?) I don't think I have any energy left for Twitter. LOL

  9. Thanks Phyllis. I updated my website today to get rid of some of the distracting pages.
    I definitely needed a reminder!

  10. Thank you all for these great comments.

    Let me say for those of you for whom time is an issue (and this probably means all of us) I believe Twitter is a much better use of time creating relationships with people instead of blogging.

    If you have a well-defined strategy for Twitter you can spend only a few minutes each day and start connecting with people. With a blog, you're committing to a lot of work each week.

    That said, check my new blog at for info on using Twitter. Particularly read the four posts on an effective Twitter profile -- you can get the four post links at

    And follow me on Twitter!


  11. P.S. Kathy --I'm not a big fan of MySpace. I personally think you would be better off on Twitter.

    P.S.S. Mona -- Although I have a Goodreads account I'm not active on that site. I'd rather spend my time on sites that aren't confined to book readers because you never know where you'll interest people in connecting with you.